A recent decision suggests that the bar for finding a product maker or seller liable for breach of the implied warranty or merchantability may be getting higher – or at least that its true height may be becoming more clear.
For product makers and sellers, breach of implied warranty claims can be particularly difficult to defend. The “not reasonably fit for intended use” liability standard normally applied to claims of this type is rather amorphous. It can be given widely varied interpretations depending on who is doing the interpreting and how sympathetically the person making the claim is viewed. As a result, even relatively minor product problems are too often found sufficient to support liability, particularly in cases involving cars, RVs, and other high-ticket consumer goods.
But a favorable trend may be developing. Continue reading
The Global Warranty and Service Contract Association (GWSCA) has asked Fulcrum Analytics to conduct an online survey to learn what is important to members of the warranty and service contracts communities. The information we collect will be used to formulate programs and proposed solutions to commonly experienced industry questions, problems, and fast emerging trends. Continue reading
Earlier this week, Steve Anderson, C.O.O. at The PHC Company, forwarded an article detailing a new Lemon Law now in effect in China. It is considerably more stringent than the prior law and commentators believe it will drive consolidation in China’s auto industry because of the increased economic pressures it places on smaller car makers. Continue reading
The plaintiff in the Janis v. Workhorse case has moved to dismiss her appeal, so the summary judgment for the RV seller on her UCC revocation claim will stand. It also means that Blankenship v. Northtown Ford, Inc. will again escape scrutiny by an Illinois reviewing court. Continue reading
As Sir Francis Bacon long ago observed – aptly we think – “Knowledge is power.” After all, it is the pursuit and acquisition of knowledge that enables sound decision making, stimulates creativity, fosters innovation, and drives progress.
With this blog, the attorneys in the Segal McCambridge warranty and service contract practice group have created a place where professionals in these fields can obtain and share knowledge that leads to program innovation and improvement, which in turn will drive value.
Janis v. Workhorse Custom Chassis, a consumer product breach of warranty case, is heading to the Illinois Appellate Court. There, the court will examine whether warranty disclaimers in a sales contract prevent a dissatisfied buyer from suing to force the seller to buy back the product – and, more importantly, may rid Illinois jurisprudence of the, shall we say, “curious” Blankenship decision. Continue reading
A successful warranty program advances a manufacturer’s fundamental goals of achieving and sustaining profitable sales.
As an outside attorney who has counseled companies on factory and extended warranty programs and defended warranty litigation for over two decades, it’s clear to me that successful programs share two critical traits:
- The smartest programs have freed themselves from traditional thinking that warranty is nothing more than a profit-draining cost center.
- The most successful programs have an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction through top-level customer service. Continue reading
Illinois legislators have proposed an amendment to the Illinois Service Contract Act which would expand the definition of “service contract” to include contracts for a wide array of motor vehicle maintenance-related service. Illinois House Bill 1460, formally titled the Motor Vehicle Ancillary Products Act, signals the continued evolution the Illinois Service Contract Act, Continue reading